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I'm not really sure how to promote myself. If you've enjoyed my work, and have ever felt the urge to throw some coin at me, I now have a Patreon.

I reveal the filename of the individual story and sometimes have additional notes/thoughts about them too. It's all completely free there, if you wish to check it out. I haven't thought of anything to actually place behind a subscription.

Here's the link, thanks for your time and interest!
patreon.com/Teryl

The Caves of Memories were rarely visited; even the most mentally skilled struggled to choose what they would be reminded of.

There was much of my childhood I didn't remember; for good reason from what I was told.

But I squared my shoulders and strode forward, leading the old man in.

The rushing memories filling my mind were warm; I'd gotten lucky.

As for the old man, he recognized his husband for the first time in years once we exited.

"What manner of mystic art is all this?"

The room was filled with smoke, steam, strange scents, bubbling pots, bottles, and mysterious pastes and powders.

The white haired woman raised her thin eyebrows at me - both for my question and my intrusion. Her black cat was hissing at me.

"This is my studio, I make my colors here," she answered, with a scowl and a hefty broom.

I learned many things about art, magic and human etiquette that day.

Welcome new readers.

I promise I normally post tales daily... But normal has not been a thing for a while now.

More tales soon though! Here's to a newer and better reality!

Nothing could match her stealth as she wove through the world, employing every shadow. In the trees she would gaze down with smug vanity, washing her paws and whiskers knowing she bathed in utter privacy.

Sometimes her humans weren't even sure they had a cat, but she'd always eat the food they put out and bring them little stunned gifts they always loudly celebrated, waking the creatures enough to scurry away to be caught again tomorrow.

The Curiosity Shop was aptly named.

Despite being located right by the bus-stop across from my school, it suffered surprisingly few minor-based mischiefs. That should have been my first clue.

As soon as I was old enough, I applied to work there after classes. I didn't know where the owner got the stock, but I loved being able to look them over as I shelved.

Right before college, the owner vanished, or rather, somehow I got the title.

My pets were always the best friends I ever had.

Warmth, acceptance, patience, tolerance and diligent ears were always fluffy, scaly or feathery.

Other humans my age couldn't seem to understand me.

I remember my distress over the daycare hamster being menaced by the biggest kid, and the rest thought it was hilarious.

School was even worse.

When I sprouted fur, fangs and claws I cried with joy, running straight to the deepest woods.

"What have I told you about this?"

The princess wagged her finger at the dragon, who sadly removed her comical bowler hat and spinning bow-tie.

"No," the princess growled, "You know I'm fully supportive of your comedy career! I meant them!"
She gestured at the fearful serfs crammed into a hanging cage, "This is not what captive audience means."

"But nobody comes to my shows!" the dragon whined.

"Because you keep doing things like this!"

You never expect to be circled by several robed figures during breakfast... but here I was, cereal halfway between my bowl and mouth.

"Can I help you?" I hesitantly asked.

One gestured to my pile of new books, another gestured at my pile of old unread books, and yet another gestured at the books I was rereading.

"We wish for you to join our Reader Collective."

"I... already have a library card?"

"Oh! Sorry for bothering you then."

"There's a word for what we are," he declared.

I nodded, hugging the giant bear I had just won; I couldn't wait to put it with the rest.

"You're... not bothered by this."

I blinked. He was glaring as his hands fiddled with the blue sticky-hand he'd barely won enough tickets for.

"Why would I be bothered by us being friends?"

He sputtered, "Friends? We're clearly adversaries!"

"We... we are?"

"Friends... does sound better though."

"Hungry? I thought you were just dancing!"

Beelinda rolled her eyes, folding all six of her arms, which looked complicated, and grumbled.

"Some of it was," she admitted," But there's so many delicious looking foodtrucks out here, I was hoping you'd take a break from looking at all the flowers."

"I thought you'd like the flowers."

"Not really. But you really like them."

"Uh, I don't... Would tacos salvage this date?"

"Definitely."

It didn't matter the direction, if I followed the neighborhood tomcat long enough, on an overcast day after a new moon, we always ended up in the same place; by the third visit, the elves had gotten used to me, and some even greeted me with cheers.

It surprised me to learn it was the elders who were most delighted by the snacks, books and toys I'd bring.

"We're old enough to find new things are fun, rather than frightening!"

The cabin looked very warm and inviting, if... unexpected.

I was certain it hadn't been in the strip-mall parking lot yesterday.

A hand-written sign read "Free Soup".

I shivered, looking over to the lines to the grocery store, extending out down the block.

I knocked timidly. The door opened a crack.

"Um, what kind of soup?"

"Any you desire," a voice creaked.

"Price?"

"...Free?"

"But really?"

"Companionship..."

"Sounds fair!"

Okay, it's time! If I'm calculating time zones correctly, the fundraiser is starting in a few hours. Please come join us for some Starbound fun if you can! I'll be hanging out and helping out, so maybe you'll get to hear me on the stream. I can make funnies sometimes, I swear!

twitch.tv/liliths_fane

#TransCrowdfund #Starbound

Show thread

What Earthlings considered 'technology' was crude, bordering on offensive.

They had barely grasped the concept of communication... so it was breath-taking to observe the day one of them made a record of a successful hunt.

It was on a rock in the open, it would barely last as long as the prideful hunter-artist would, but it was... encouraging.

I shared some complicated knots as a gift before I left.

I wonder where they'll go from there...

The old tower had a storied history - it was once home to a witch, then a princess, then a refuge for a whole colony of imps, shortly after it became a shop that specialized in wind-chimes that allegedly drove away evil spirits, before being damaged by a meteorite.

After being abandoned for several decades, it was repaired by a pair of mages, who decided it would be a wonderful library.

And it was, especially once they installed the ramps.

"I have some news," he announced as casually as possible, "That you may find alarming."

I lowered the scroll I'd been scrutinizing.

"Er..." he fidgeted a bit and coughed, "There's a dragon parked in the stables."

I raised an eyebrow.

"And a princess with an ultimatum."

I blinked.

"Teach her magic or her dragon eats your favorite horse."

"Did you tell her she could just pay the tuition," I sighed.

"Oh! I'll do that right away, ma'am!"

The city awoke to a strange kind of vandalism - greenery had sprouted everywhere. Vines coiled around lamp posts, flowers bloomed from every crack in the pavement and trees towered, creating canopies that dappled the sunlight, their substantial roots creating shelters, seats and sleeping nooks.

The council decided it was too expensive to deal with and simply urged citizens to adapt to this new environment, and many did so with gusto.

"Don't do anything strenuous," she repeated mockingly, "I should have eaten him."

The princess nodded understandingly.

"It's just eggs! Why, my ancestors torched whole villages then flew off with entire castles while chock full of eggs all the time!"

"Planning on rampaging?"

"No... but I could if I wanted, no matter my condition."

"Of course."

"It's just right now I'd prefer a foot and wing massage."

"Of course," the princess obliged.

There are few things more persistent than a cat that wants something, except perhaps a cat who is also a witch's familiar. Whether it's an ingredient, payment or promise, the familiar will not give up.

Most people imagine a great stalking beast, one with the shadows waiting to pounce.

What you will more likely encounter is a pitiful mew from a damp box on a rainy day, or an enticingly proffered belly.

They're cunning like that.

The demon clicked her tongue and drew the curtain to obscure the view of the mob.

"They seem ornery," she observed.

"Ornery?! They mean to kill me!" the Governor screeched.

"Can't imagine why," the demon drawled, "You won your position fairly. Oh wait."

"I did! There's nothing in the town's laws saying the dead can't vote! Stop the mob!"

"You didn't have a soul of your own before, you certainly have nothing to trade now. So good luck!"

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